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Muddled about MERS? Here’s A Quick Guide

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While I was working on the “H1N-What?” post, I also knew there would soon be questions about MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), just as there were about SARS. So here are the essentials of what we know and don’t know about MERS—which has just been reported in the U.S.—as well as intriguing tidbits that remain an unsolved mystery.

What is MERS?

MERS is a respiratory virus, known initially as novel coronavirus (CoV). Until now, it has largely been confined to the Middle East, having been first discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Isolated cases were found in Europe earlier this spring—one case each in France, Italy, and Greece—a warning that things would soon get interesting here as well.

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